You see a woman breastfeeding her child, and you feel the urge to share your two cents with her. Stop before you Speak! Here’s a list of things that you should not(at any cost) say to a breastfeeding mom.
You see a mom breastfeeding in a public place:
You want to say : Why are you throwing yourself out in a public place? Can’t you see there are men out here? You should be using a cover.
Grrr…, can’t you see that my baby is hungry and I am using my natural God-given ability to feed my baby? As for the cover, Do you cover your face while you eat? If so then you might as well do the same now. And yes, I see there are men out there, I can differentiate genders. And men don’t jump straight from the sky, do they?I think even they are birthed and nourished by women who have breasts!
What you can say instead: Oh! Your baby is so beautiful. I appreciate you normalizing breastfeeding. And don’t mind the creeps who stare and pass silly comments, you are doing a great job!
You see a mom nursing your toddler:
You want to say : Isn’t your kid too old to be still nursing? He can walk, talk and will be going to school soon. He is going to be a needy kid. You should wean him immediately!
I’m sorry that your brain has a limited intellectual capacity to grasp the concept of extended-breastfeeding. Thanks for your concern but my child is going to be perfectly fine! My kids will not be needy,in-fact there are reasons to believe that they can be more independent because breastfeeding makes a child feel secure and comforted.
What can you say instead: You are breastfeeding your little tod! It takes a lot of courage to take a stand against this social stigma attached to extended breastfeeding. You are a strong Mama!
You see a mom breastfeeding in a restaurant:
You want to say : Can you take this privately?Maybe into the restroom? My other customers are feeling awkward to have their lunch.
Hmm, maybe you can tell your “other” “customers” to mind their own business? My baby is having his lunch just like everybody else is. If they have a problem with that, they can perhaps take their plates to the restroom?
What can you say instead: Are you comfortable? We can move you to a bigger table if you want. Oh! Your food is getting cold, let me keep it warm until you finish nursing your baby. And here’s a cookie(on the house)to munch on to keep your hunger at bay 😉
You see a mom nursing in her living room and your baby:
You want to say : Are you going to nurse him in front of your husband; he might lose interest in you. You have elder children here, that too a boy!What will he think of you?
I am sorry that you married a
jerk person who made you think that. But I married a wonderful, mature and broad-minded guy who thinks of me as a super woman who can grow a human being inside of me, sustain and nourish them with my body. I am well aware of the presence of my boys. I will continue to nurse in front of them because I want to raise them as men who look at a woman with nothing but respect!
What can you say instead : Here come sit in this comfy chair. Here’s the TV remote so that you can catch up on your favorite serial while you’re nursing.
You see a mom exclusively breastfeeding your baby:
You want to say: Are you giving him just breast milk? No wonder your baby is thin as air! Why don’t you give him some real food?For God’s sake, you are starving that baby.
For God’s sake do some research before you go on to ramble! Health experts, breastfeeding experts, WHO, UNICEF, AAP (to name a few) recommend babies to be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of their life. Breast milk contains all that is necessary (protein, fat, vitamins,anti-oxidants) to nourish the baby. Solids can be introduced along with breast milk after six months(depending upon how much your baby shows interest in solid foods).
What can you say instead: I don’t have anything to say here except to kindly request you to stay out of science-based discussions as that is clearly not your forte!
So the next time you see a women feeding her child be nice, be supportive and say something that would make her smile. Too hard for you? Then just politely ignore her and go back to what you were doing.